Best Reflective Running Gear – Vests, Armbands, Lights, Headlamps, & More!

Any outdoor running enthusiast knows that a lot depends on good lighting. Whether you need a headlamp to see the terrain or reflective bands to stay visible to drivers, safety gear is just as important as a good pair of shoes. 

There are a few different categories of visibility gear. We have researched the top brands and best selling products from each category to find the best of the bunch. Special care was paid to the quality of material, as a malfunction late at night can quickly put an end to your run or put your safety at risk. 

IMAGEPRODUCTDETAILS
LED Noxgear Tracer360 Illuminated & Reflective Vest
  • Features: 6 solid color options and 5 flashing modes, adjustable straps, 6.5oz weight, 360-degree visibility
  • Benefits: Brightest LED Vest, 2 forms of visibility, Water-resistant, Customizable style
CHECK LATEST PRICE
Whole Human LED Safety Lights
  • Features: Sold as a 2-pack, comes with extra batteries and attachment options
  • Benefits: Customizable and cost-effective high-visibility option
CHECK LATEST PRICE
BSEEN LED Armband
  • Features: Easy slap-on attachment, reflective striping and LED illumination
  • Benefits: High-visibility and multiple reflectivity options
CHECK LATEST PRICE
Energizer LED Headlamp
  • Features: Multimodal lighting options at a low price
  • Benefits: Extremely affordable and versatile headlamp
CHECK LATEST PRICE
Freemove Reflective Safety Vest
  • Features: Lightweight mesh, front zipper pocket, and 360-degree visibility
  • Benefits: Comfortable and convenient fit for long runs
CHECK LATEST PRICE
HAUSBELL 7W Mini LED Flashlights
  • Features: reflective glowing ring, zoomable, multiple attachment options
  • Benefits: Easy to find in the dark and low-hassle for your runs or other adventures
CHECK LATEST PRICE

The types of reflective visibility gear we reviewed for this article include vests, LED clip-on lights, arm and ankle bands, headlamps, and flashlights. While it isn’t necessary to use something from every category we are presenting, you would be wise to invest in at least two or three of them. Our top pick for each category of reflective running gear is:

We will break down the features of each kind, as well as a few other top choices below. 


Best Reflective Running Vests – Top 4

1. Freemove Reflective Safety Vest – Top Pick

This vest from Freemove offers full 360-degree visibility from up to 750 feet. The lightweight breathable mesh and adjustable closures provide a comfortable and convenient fit. This is a great option for runners who ask a lot of their vests. 

Features: 360-degree visibility, full range of motion, durable mesh fabric, essentials pocket, reflective stripes, bonus accessories

Pros

  • Comfortable and adjustable
  • Front zipper pocket for essentials
  • Bonus accessories: armbands and carrying bag

Cons

  • The vest runs large so you should consult the sizing guide and potentially plan to size down.

2. Amphipod Xinglet Vest – Most Adjustable Fit

This vest does away with all unnecessary material and consists only of reflective straps for your shoulders and waist. 

Features: Full 360-degree reflective visibility, adjustable stretchy shoulder and waist straps, quick-clip release buckles

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • 360-degree reflectivity
  • Very adjustable

Cons

Some users report that the reflective strips wear off over time. Our tests found them to be durable but were not conducted over a long period of time. 


3. Led Running Vest Noxgear Tracer360 Illuminated & Reflective Vest – Brightest

This is a vest that really focuses on visibility. It provides LED illumination (in 6 colors and 5 flashing modes) along with reflective tape around the ribcage. You are sure to be seen with this gear. 

Features: 6 solid color options and 5 flashing modes, adjustable straps, 6.5oz weight, 360-degree visibility

Pros

  • 2 forms of visibility
  • Water-resistant
  • Customizable style

Cons

  • The LEDs require batteries, which some users may not prefer over other rechargeable options. However, replaceable batteries allow you to immediately recharge if needed. 
  • It can be tricky to keep the tubing from sliding down your shoulders, so be sure to properly fit the vest before setting out.

4. Nathan Streak Reflective Vest – Best for Minimalists

This is the most “vest-like” option on our list. The breathable mesh material offers a high degree of comfort and doesn’t interfere with your form while running. It has 360-degree visibility and no battery-operated parts. 

Features: 1,200-foot visibility, 360-degree reflectivity, multiple size options, mesh vest form, adjustable

Pros

  • Comfortable, breathable mesh fabric
  • High visibility
  • Multiple size options

Cons

  • It can be hard to find the right fit, so you may want to order a few sizes and keep the one that works best. Luckily there is a wide range of options available.

LED Clip-On Lights – Top 4 Picks

1. Whole Human LED Safety Lights – Top Pick

These lights are consumer favorites. When purchased as a 2-pack, they are really budget-friendly while also being durable and customizable. The lights come with extra batteries as an added bonus. 

Features: 5 LED lights per device, No-slip clip, 3 lighting modes,96 hours of illumination with replaceable batteries, weather-resistant

Pros

  • Budget-friendly
  • Great warranty
  • Strong clip

Cons

  • The company may have an issue with quality control; many packages seem to be shipped with faulty parts. This does not impact the actual quality of the product but should be reviewed by the supplier. 

2. Nathan Strobe Light – Most Durable

This is a great and affordable clip-on light. It comes with many light mode options and an extremely long battery life. A good option for extreme weather as well.

Features: 3-bulb LED, 100+ hours when fully charged, 6 light mode options, 0.9oz weight

Pros

  • Extremely long life with new batteries
  • Waterproof
  • Many light mode options (including flashing)
  • Very budget-friendly

Cons

  • Not rechargeable, but new batteries provide over 100 hours of power. 

3. ReflecToes LED Safety Lights – Most Budget-Friendly

These clip-on lights come with the added option of straps for attaching to arms or legs. The LED lights only offer red coloring but come with 3 lighting modes for increased visibility. 

Features: 0.5oz weight, 3 light modes, 3 red LED lights, comes with clips and straps, 180 degrees of illumination

Pros

  • Very affordable
  • Multi-mode lighting
  • Multiple attachment options

Cons

  • No white light option, but the flashing mode compensates for the potential decrease in visibility

4. Beryl Pixel – Most Versatile

This is marketed as a bike light but contains all the best features of a running light. You can choose between white or red light and 2 different lighting modes, clip onto a variety of different surfaces and materials, and wear it in the rain and snow. While you will need to recharge the battery in advance, a single charge can provide 10 hours of power. 

Features: Two color options, 10-hour battery life, 18g weight, micro-USB charge port, 2 lighting modes

Pros

  • Extremely lightweight
  • Multi-surface clip
  • Waterproof

Cons

  • Isn’t the brightest of the available lights, but is sufficient for low-light running
  • More expensive than the other options, but consumers report good durability.

Reflective Bands for Runners (Arm & Ankle) – Top 3

1. BSEEN LED Armband – Top Pick

The BSEEN LED Armband is a nostalgia-inducing piece of equipment that is both fun to use (like the old slap bracelets of the 90s) and effective at keeping you visible on the run. 

Features: TPU light-guiding tube, 6 color options, easy slap-on fitting, 40-60 hour battery time

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Colorful and multi-functional
  • Durable and snug

Cons

  • Advertised as an armband, but isn’t really big enough for large biceps. We recommend wearing on the wrist or ankle. 
  • It could be more reflective when not using the LED option.

2. Jogalite Wide Leg Band 1.5 Inches – Most Reflective

These bands are the most reflective of the bunch. They are comfortable and constructed of lightweight materials for use in a variety of activities. 

Features: Gp-340 Brilliance Series Reflexite Reflective tape with 1200 foot visibility, 360 Degree visibility, 14″ long with 1.5″ wide double striped both front and back, three-year guarantee on materials and workmanship

Pros

  • Highly reflective
  • Budget-friendly
  • Comes in 2-pack

Cons

  • The stated length of 14” does not account for overlap upon closure. Be sure to measure for the length you need before purchasing

3. Nite Ize SlapLit – Most Comfortable

This is another slap bracelet for those wanting more reflectivity options. It comes with both reflective strips and LED lighting.

Features: Glow or Flash Modes Passive, 2032 3V lithium battery included, reflective band and extra LED illuminating functionality

Pros

  • Reflective strips and LED lighting
  • Slap technology ensures a perfect fit for all users
  • Multimodal lighting

Cons

  • Changing the batteries can be tricky, so you may want to watch tutorials before attempting.

Headlamps – Top 3

1. Energizer LED Headlamp – Top Pick

Energizer’s LED Headlamp is a hidden gem and this reviewer’s personal favorite. It is extremely affordable and includes every necessary feature for a safe and successful run. 

Features: 100-lumens multimodal LED lighting, washable band, pivoting headlight, replaceable batteries

Pros

  • Budget-friendly
  • Simple design
  • Durable and reliable

Cons

  • Some of the other headlights are technically brighter, but for the cost and durability, we think it is worth sacrificing. 

2. Petzl Tikkina – Most Reliable

Petzel is a leader in headlamp technology. While sometimes a bit pricier than its competitors, the Petzel Tikkina is a standard classic that will offer you reliable and high-quality service for many years. 

Features: 2”x6”, 220 hour battery time, 150-lumen wide beam lighting, single-button design, hybrid charging technology (AAA batteries or CORE rechargeable battery)

Pros

  • Single-button control
  • Hybrid-charging options
  • Reputable brand

Cons

  • A little pricier than others, but for a high-quality product. Worth the investment for heavy-duty users. 

3. Black Diamond Spot 325 – Most Hi-Tech

Black Diamond has been making high-quality headlamps for quite some time. The Spot 325 uses AAA batteries, can be used underwater (for 30 minutes at 1.1 meters), and has impressive brightness memory capability. If you want a top-of-the-line headlamp with all the frills, this one is for you. 

Features: Between 4 and 200 hour burn time, PowerTap technology for instant brightness toggle, up to 325-lumens LED lighting, partially waterproof, multimodal and multicolor lighting options

Pros

  • It has every feature you can think of!
  • Well-tested and reputable
  • Did we mention it can be used underwater?

Cons

  • There’s no getting around the cost of this one. It is a luxury item and won’t fit everyone’s budget. But if you are looking for quality and impressive features, you’re in the right place. 

Flashlights – Top 2

1. HAUSBELL 7W Mini LED Flashlights – Top Pick

These are wonderfully versatile flashlights. They clip securely to you for visibility on nighttime runs and even glow slightly in the dark to make them easy to find while off. These are a favorite among consumers for their durability as well. 

Features: Dual powering options, 3 adjustable light modes, weather and shock resistant, zoomable

Pros

  • Glowing ring on the case makes it easy for you to find in the dark and helps make you more visible while running
  • Multiple attachment options
  • Good for extreme conditions

Cons

  • The light switch mode automatically switches to the next setting when you turn it off. That means, when you turn it back on, it will be on a different light setting. This can be hard to get used to at first

2. GearLight LED Tactical Flashlight S1000  – Most Versatile

This is a really versatile high-powered flashlight. It is a go-to choice for runners, campers, and hunters alike. It is lightweight but packed with tons of options and features to suit many different settings. It also works fine while drinking water while running because it’s water-resistant.

Features: Water Resistant, 5 Operating Modes Zoomable, Weather & Shock Resistant

Pros

  • Dual powering capabilities (AAA batteries or rechargeable battery)
  • Zoomable
  • Multimodal lighting options
  • Really durable and weather resistant (so don’t worry about dropping it on the road or taking it out in the snow)

Cons

  • Not specifically designed for runners, so it is not the most lightweight option on the market. But it is attachable, reliable, and can be used in all weather. 

Reflective Gear for Runners Buyer’s Guide

When shopping for any kind of reflective gear, your primary consideration should, of course, be visibility. Does the product contain enough reflective or illuminated material to make you visible to drivers, cyclists, and other runners? Is it well-made, reliable, and durable? You really do not want to cut corners when it comes to safety gear, especially at night. 

Continue reading for some other considerations when buying certain types of visibility gear.

Reflective Vests

With reflective vests, in addition to overall visibility and reflective quality, you will want to consider the fit like when looking for the right running watch. You can see our recent post for fitness watches for women on this page. A vest should be snug enough to not slide off of your shoulders, but loose enough to avoid chafing. If it is not intended as a hydration pack, the vest should be as lightweight and breathable as possible. If the vest is uncomfortable, you are less likely to wear it.

LED Clip-On Lights

Power Source

Is the light powered by batteries or will you need to charge it? Either one is fine, but you may have a personal preference. Replacing batteries can be more wasteful, but you may like knowing that you can bring backup batteries in case it dies during your run. A chargeable light will save you money in the long run, but you will not be able to recharge it quickly if needed. You may also be interested in a rechargeable spotlight.

Light Style

Do you want a solid white light? A red light? A blinking light? Many clip-on lights offer a combination of all three, but some do not. Red lights are easier on the eyes, but blinking lights tend to improve visibility for oncoming traffic. Some running watches even provide a flashing when running at night. You see them here.

Arm and Ankle Bands

With arm and ankle bands, your main concern will be fit and feel. You want something easy to take on and off, but secure enough to stay put during your run. It should not rub unpleasantly against your skin. 

You can also choose between bands with LED lights or reflective tape depending on your preference. Reflective tape is generally cheaper and does not require a power source, but LED lights are more visible. You may also like our recent guide on the best fitness trackers for kids here.

Headlamps

Headlamps are an interesting option because they are a more versatile light source than some of the other options. You can use them for running, hiking, or during a blackout. 

However, headlamps may not always be the most comfortable during a run. You will need to find one that can be adjusted snugly to ensure a tight fit. Headlamps also have options for the light style: solid red, solid white, blinking, etc.

Flashlights

When buying flashlights for running, you should pay the most attention to weight and size. Presumably, you do not want something heavy or cumbersome, as it will make running more difficult. Fortunately, there are some wonderful lightweight options available. You should be able to tie or clip them to a belt or vest. Some runners like to carry their lights on a running hydration pack. You can see our picks here.


What is the best Reflective Running gear? – Final Thoughts

Those are our picks for the best reflective running gear available in 2020. There are few things more dangerous than running in the dark, and we want to make sure you know exactly what you need in order to equip yourself. Whether you wear one or more of these pieces of reflective gear, we know you will be safe and comfortable. You may also like our guide on the best Garmin running watches on this post.

IMAGEPRODUCTDETAILS
LED Noxgear Tracer360 Illuminated & Reflective Vest
  • Features: 6 solid color options and 5 flashing modes, adjustable straps, 6.5oz weight, 360-degree visibility
  • Benefits: Brightest LED Vest, 2 forms of visibility, Water-resistant, Customizable style
CHECK LATEST PRICE
Whole Human LED Safety Lights
  • Features: Sold as a 2-pack, comes with extra batteries and attachment options
  • Benefits: Customizable and cost-effective high-visibility option
CHECK LATEST PRICE
BSEEN LED Armband
  • Features: Easy slap-on attachment, reflective striping and LED illumination
  • Benefits: High-visibility and multiple reflectivity options
CHECK LATEST PRICE
Energizer LED Headlamp
  • Features: Multimodal lighting options at a low price
  • Benefits: Extremely affordable and versatile headlamp
CHECK LATEST PRICE>
Freemove Reflective Safety Vest
  • Features: Lightweight mesh, front zipper pocket, and 360-degree visibility
  • Benefits: Comfortable and convenient fit for long runs
HAUSBELL 7W Mini LED Flashlights
  • Features: reflective glowing ring, zoomable, multiple attachment options
  • Benefits: Easy to find in the dark and low-hassle for your runs or other adventures
CHECK LATEST PRICE

Related Posts:

The following two tabs change content below.

Austin Mills

Austin Mills in an outdoor enthusiast. He's been featured on some of the top outdoor & fitness blogs sharing his expertise in order to help others. In his free time, he likes spending time with his dogs enjoying the outdoors.

Latest posts by Austin Mills (see all)